Mason Lake via Ira Spring Memorial Trail is a 6.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,293 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

Late summer days in the Seattle area often begin with a thick layer of gloomy clouds. So you can head east through the I-90 corridor, into the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, to climb above the clouds. Bandera Mountain on the western edge of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area is an excellent place to find the sun and enjoy panoramic views of glacial history written in the rocks of the Cascade Mountains. The trail up to the summit of Bendera Mountain is 3.3 miles in length (and the same distance back; total 6.6 miles) with an elevation gain of 3048 feet for a final elevation of 5256 feet (according to my GPS). The last 1.5 miles of the trail gain 1800 feet by cutting straight up the mountain on a narrow path (2 feet wide in most places), the last .5 mile gaining 1000 feet. Difficult as this last leg is, the view at the top, and the feeling of accomplishment is not to be denied. Take Interstate 90 east and get off at Exit 45 (Road No. 9030). At the stop sign, turn left, go under the freeway to Forest Service Road No. 9030. Drive about a half-mile to a road junction and continue straight about three miles on Road No. 9031 to trailhead parking and facilities, elevation about 2,300 feet. Allow about an hour drive time from Seattle. A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike. Great views once you get to the last mile or so. You can see Rainier consistently. Mason lake was beautiful with a lot of space to spend time.

hiking
1 month ago

Really an excellent hike, couldn't be happier. The views of the valley and the lake were amazing. Going in late September means all the leaves had turned colors but hadn't fallen off yet. And my dog had a blast playing around the lake. The hike was a solid moderate. It had only a small handful of switchbacks, The slope was pretty consistent - the first half was easy and the second half got pretty steep. It's a good workout, but I saw a handful of kids and a chihuahua climb this, so it wasn't THAT hard. Trail was well maintained and there weren't a ton of people. Took about 4 hours including stops for photos and eating lunch at the lake. Highly recommended! And don't forget to check for the right kind of pass!

1 month ago

Really beautiful hike. Went on a partly sunny day and you could see Rainer for a lot of the way up. The fall foliage was beautiful. I’d rate this as a harder moderate hike. Pretty consistent grade on the way up.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike that was definitely a work out (average fitness). Some pretty steep gains until you break through the trees and enter into the boulder fields. The trail was really easy to follow and the fall colors have already started to come in. I went on a Sunday morning and the parking lot was already full but I didn't feel like the trail was too busy. I decided to go the extra half mile up to Bandera Summit and it was pretty steep, but there were a lot of steps and rocks that climbing up wasn't too difficult going up or down. I am still glad I had my poles though, they helped a ton.. Just pace yourself. It was a pretty cloudy day so I wasn't able to see all around, but all in all, great views either way and a great work out.

hiking
2 months ago

love love love this app. definitely my go to. thanks reviewers that take the time to update trail conditions and tips.

2 months ago

We found a ‘grove’ of huckleberries at the lake! The hike was beautiful, especially the boulder fields. The spur to the ridge was challenging and fun with an amazing view.

2 months ago

18 year old girl, training for backpacking trip. Good uphill practice, tiring but not exhausting. Not tons of people (on a Sunday morning) which was nice, and there was some pleasant scenery changes after the long uphill stretch through the forest. Lake at top was beautiful, my friend swam and said it wasn’t too cold.

hiking
2 months ago

Rocks, dirt, and dust. While dogs are required to be on leash, many of the 'my dog is well behaved' folks ignored this. Parking was not an issue, even at a 1045AM arrival time. Unsure why this hike is rated 'hard' and the 'Ira spring' trail is rated 'moderate' when they are the exact same? 1.5hrs up and 1.0hrs back down makes for a quick trip.

hiking
2 months ago

beautiful mason lake makes the hike and elevation gain worth it. took my dog and we both went for a swim in mason lake. gorgeous views all along the way. saw lots of fellow hikers along the way.

hiking
3 months ago

2018/08/04 Saturday (Hiking Date). One of the best hikes. Though it is little long hike for me, I enjoyed it fully because of view points on the way. Trail is wide and good. The lake at the end is nice and easily accessible for swimming. Small parking area. I would go there again.

hiking
3 months ago

We loved this hike! The Ira Spring trail is fairly steep and provides a good work out, with some interesting exposed sections periodically up switchbacks and then amidst boulder fields toward the summit. Views are incredible on a cloudy day. We went up and over to the Mason Lake trail on the other side of the peak and enjoyed a nice break at the lake, enjoying the serene water and quiet before making our way up and back down the front side.

3 months ago

get an early start on the trail...afternoon will make it harder to complete the hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent day yesterday! The hike and lake were pristine. Nothing difficult or extreme in terms of hiking grade - just nice and relaxing. Bring the bug spray, though.

hiking
3 months ago

So crowded!! Went on Sunday July 14, arrived at 9am and the parking lot was overflowing. Good workout, spectacular views of Rainier and the dusting of Indian Paint Brushes was nice. Couldn’t stay long at Mason Lake due to aggressive bugs. Would’ve rated this higher for just the hike alone but I think the experience of bugs and overpopulation left us wanting...

hiking
3 months ago

Too many bugs at the moment but worth the hard hike. We covered a bit of Bandera to get some beautiful vistas of the Mount Rainier at a distance and then looped back to complete the Mason lake trail. Lots of swimmers enjoying what turned out to be an wonderful sunny day. We saw few campers at the edge of the lake too.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views as your trek up the trail. Has steep climb and rocky patches. Glad we brought bug repellents.

hiking
3 months ago

Great workout to get to the top, but the lake view was amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

A nice mix of sun and shade with lots of wildflowers and ridgeline views. Don't be fooled by the easy start... the incline gets much steeper once you turn the corner! The constant incline is met by gorgeous views along the way and at the lake. Don't forget bug spray!

hiking
3 months ago

First time ever doing this trail and I loved it. Did it today July 18th. Started at 6am and got back around 1. Went to the lake which was amazing. Got some good photos as the fog was going away. Then turned around and took the Bandera Mountain trail. Don’t know if I made it completely to the top but I had to climb three or four rock bolder areas. That was a little hard but worth it. I even took my dog even though some reviews on here and the Washington trail site said not to because of the rocky areas. But my dog had no issues except with some big rocks but I just helped her out. If you do this trail, try doing both and go early.

3 months ago

Great hike! Few bugs. Moderate incline and lots of shade. Great views of Mt Rainier. Nice lake to play in. I’d give it 4.5 stars. Snow Lake is actually prettier. Toilets at the trailhead :)

hiking
4 months ago

I went here this morning @7:30am and took about 5 hours to get done hiking lol I'm out of shape that's why it took a long time, but it was worth it to be done! I saw very beautiful views and nature!! Highly recommended to see mason lake! btw please go early in the morning so you don't park the alley in the road. And you will need a northwest pass for sure. :)

4 months ago

Amazing view! Steep inclines at parts on the way up, but so rewarding with the view

hiking
4 months ago

Brought my pup and two friends here on fourth of July. we left Seattle around 6:30 and arrived to full parking lot- still found a spot though and had a great great hike. we did the loop back which is very steep and only relatively maintained..but AWESOME with hardly any people. download the map and use your GPS to find your way it's pretty obvious. the one kinda tricky part was at the boulder field- stick to the right of it heading towards the creek. By the time we got back down there were cars for a mile down the road and the main trail seemed packed.

hiking
4 months ago

I am not in the best shape and this trail definitely was hard for me. It took me 2.5 hours to get up and approx the same to get down. The trail is up hill all the time. The first 1.5 mile is less steep and then the rest of the trail is steeper mostly. Only the last 0.4 or so mile is downhill to the lake. Based on my tracker the trail to the lake Mason is about 7 miles round trip, there and back. Discovery Pass is NOT valid on this trail. I got a ticket! You can buy a pass online for $5 in advance and display a print out.

It’s very crowded. We arrived at 9:30am and took the last spot at the parking lot - just lucky. Lots of cars were parked on the side of the road already, which is very narrow. The only way to turn around with all the cars parked on the side is to drive all the way to the parking lot. The last 3.2 miles of the road is not paved, watch out for pot wholes. But you don’t need a 4x4. My one wheel drive hunchback made it OK-ish.

The trail is in great condition and there are some nice view points of Mt Rainier. There was one or two spots only where we had to go through boulders, the rest of the trail is just dirt path. It’s OK for dogs and there were plenty of them.

Use the restroom at the trail head, it’s not an easy trail to find a private spot lol.

The lake was beautiful, makes a good compensation for the work out. BUT it was very crowded and some people don’t understand that you didn’t just climbed 3.5 miles to the lake to hear them sing and play the guitar or have a loud conversation with family members who sit 10 fit away.

There was a couple of people swimming in the lake, the water was pretty chilly though. Lots of bugs, especially in the shade, take your repellent.

Enjoy the great outdoors!!! Cheers!

4 months ago

Mildly busy on a Sunday afternoon, good views and a great workout

4 months ago

Just gorgeous. (Also, I’d rate this one as “moderate” rather than “hard.”)

hiking
4 months ago

4 months ago

Went there 6/26 and arrived around 10 AM and the parking lot was pretty full. The trail itself wasn't very packed, but be warned it does get steep pretty fast. I'm pretty sure it took about 2 hours to get to the lake. From the lake our group decided to go to Mt. Defiance from Mason, I would highly recommend even if it's steep, it's only about an hour and a half to two hours hike from Mason. In total with breaks we did it all in about 7 hours.

4 months ago

Beautiful hike! Caught the trail on a misty and foggy day, so Mason Lake was pretty much covered. But it was still beautiful and a really nice spot to sit down and have lunch. Trail is well kept, although I wouldn’t rate it as hard. A butt kicker in some spots but more moderate overall. Only drawback is that it’s a heavily populated trail. There were lots of large groups so it was tough to hike at the pace I wanted.

4 months ago

Beautiful views.

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